Destinations - Osorno

House Follert in Osorno

The family history Follert in Chile began with the arrival in Puerto Montt in 1872 of Joseph Follert and his family, consisting of his wife Berta Grieser and their five children: Oscar, 11 years, Robert 8 years, Amadeus 3 years, 2 years and Adelina Konrad of only 11 days, aboard the schooner "Wandrahm". Joseph Follert came from Porembi, Sierakowitz, west of Danzig. The house was purchased by Alberto Emil Follert Fleidl, born on September 13, 1906 and married to Elda Neumann Kuschel, hence the house is known as Follert-Neumann House. The house was purchased from the Bornscheuer family, who are believed were their first owners, arrived on May 31st, 1856 in Puerto Montt from Rotenburg, Hessen. The family was composed of Georg Bornscheuer Schüller and Catharine Momberg, and their children Sabine and Konrad. Upon arrival they were designatedted a farm in El Volcán. Later another son, Peter Georg Bornscheuer Momberg would join them, who arrived in Chile on September 27th, 1856 aboard the Grasbrook. It would be the latter who with his wife, Augusta Bielefeldt, bought the house in Matta Nº 50 after selling his business in Trumao. Later, it will be the only son of Georg, Ottmar, who sold the house to the Follert family, the last family living in the house.


House Follert, Osorno. Exterior view

The house

The house is estimated to date from the years 1890-1920 (Montecinos, 1981: 44) and to have been designed by Piwonka. Currently no records exist of the changes undergone by the original design over the years. However, based on an interview to Sandra Hitschfield Follert, who currently owns the rights to the house, and studies by Elisa Cordero Jahr, Gabriel Guarda, Hernán Montecinos and the field work conducted for this research, it can be concluded that the house has suffered two significant changes in its structure: the first change is related to their right tower, in which original dome was replaced, thus losing the asymmetry in the volume of the original construction; the second change relates to the fire in 1989, in which much of the second floor of the building was completely destroyed.


House Follert, Osorno. Façades

The house Bornscheuer or Follert meets all the characteristics of the wooden buildings in Osorno developed between the years 1890 to 1920. This construction is mainly characterized by large and complex volumes, plus verandas around the house. Also, the finishings of the house are characterized by a high degree of detail, which is particularly clear in decorative items, such as details on the windows, pillars, railings, towers, façades and walls of others. All of this refinement could be explained because many carpenters were also involved in the construction of furniture, and by the arrival of industrialization to the area, which allowed greater complexity in construction.


House Follert, Osorno. Ground Floor and First Floor Plans

As for the current condition, the house is considerably deteriorated both in the exterior and in the interior. Inside, the humidity has caused the ceilings to be tainted by leaks, the wallpapers are off, the doors out of their hinges. Outside, the planks are clearly rotten, bent and no longer have waterproof coating conditions. There is a serious structural problem of the pillars on the corners, which are distorted and diminished in section, also a product rotening due to the high humidity and missing maintenance. It is possible to see damage to the wooden beams located in the basement, there are small holes caused by the presence of xylophagous insects and in the attic area of the towers pigeons have proliferated.


House Follert, Osorno. Tower Detail